Google’s share price moved closer to another milestone last night after it posted better than expected Q3 results.

The web ad giant increased its profits by 45% to $1.07bn and sales by 57% to $4.23bn, helped by its continuing search dominance and growth in international markets, including Britain.

The results fuelled more predictions that Google’s shares could hit $700 in the near future, even though they only crossed $600 earlier this month.

In the results statement, chief executive Eric Schmidt said Google’s core search ad business had experienced “continued momentum driven by growth in monetisation and traffic”.

He added:

“Our efforts to offer more products and services in international markets as well as effectively grow our technology infrastructure and add to our deep talent base during the quarter helped to deliver growth by enabling Google to reach more users around the world.”

Figures from comScore, also released yesterday, showed Google’s share of US searches stood at 57% in September.

In Q3, it generated 48% of its sales from outside the US, including $661m or 16% from the UK. Fifteen percent of its revenues came from the UK in Q2.

But there was little on which to judge Google’s efforts to diversify beyond search ads – brands’ spending on AdSense rose 40% year on year to $1.45bn, or 34% of its overall sales, while its own sites generated revenues of $2.73bn, or 65%.

Team Google also continues to grow, despite the company admitting that its aggressive hiring policy hurt its Q2 figures – its headcount rose to 15,916 by the end of September from 13,786 in June.

Google’s share price rose to just under $640 after the results were announced – around seven times higher than when it IPO’d three years ago.

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